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PORTLAND, OR, United States – Thanksgiving is upon us and with it, families and friends all across the United States will gather to spend time, watch American football games, share a meal and give thanks for the blessings throughout the year. The Thanksgiving holiday brings families together, but can also bring stress as meals must be completed and errands run – not to mention annoying family members who come to town for the weekend

Personally, I fill many roles when it comes to Thankgiving. I’m the errand runner, (occasional) food preparer, and family technical support guy.  I’m happy to help and pitch in, but it can be very stressful at times. Luckily, with some preparation and help from technology, I can take Turkey Day in my stride.

Finding the way home

Nothing is more aggravating than getting lost on the way to your destination. When you’re trying to get to grandma’s new place or your aunt’s house out in the country, becoming turned around can get your Thanksgiving off to a wrong start. Mobile maps are a godsend in this situation and Nokia Maps especially.

In rural Oregon, where my family members live, mobile phone signal strength comes and goes. However, when I pre-load Oregon’s map into Nokia Maps, I know that I can get to my destination even though a solid 3G signal won’t be present along the way. That way, I can get ‘over the hills and through the woods’ and be at Grandma’s on time with happy kids in tow.

Grocery lists made easy

As one of the eaters of the turkey dinner, it’s my job to be on standby to run to the store when it comes to dinner provisions and unforeseen ingredients that my lovely wife needs. Often times my wife has additions to the list that I she used to text me with. However, I’ve developed a much simpler solution utilizing Evernote and shared lists.

On her computer at home, I’ve installed Evernote and shared a notebook between us called “Shopping list”. Now, rather than sending me to the store with a written list and me having to check my phone for additions when I’m at the store, I have one concise and convenient list in Evernote. Viewing the list on my mobile is as easy as utilizing the Evernote app for Windows Phone. This solution is easy for both of us and makes shopping/finding groceries quick and painless.

Recipes are a lifesaver

When it’s time to start making the wonderful meal that everyone gathers for, a very interesting predicament comes about. What happens when you lose the recipe? That special sweet potato side dish that everyone raves about… what if you can’t deliver the goods?

Epicurious has saved me more times than I can count. This application enables you to search for recipes, rate them and even build your shopping list all in one convenient little application. Epicurious goes beyond just being a recipe app though, with community built-in, allowing you to see how recipes have been rated by other amateur chefs. There are more than 30,000 recipes that are discoverable by searching, or even by selecting what the ingredients are.

For example, if you have leftover turkey, you can select turkey as a main ingredient and see all the way you can prepare a meal with said ingredient.

image credit:  Hey Paul and thetalesend